What is theophany?
Infact theophany is the manifestation of attributes and Essence of Allah. Moreover, it is manifestation of Divine beauty and majesty. Thence, the whole universe is the manifestation of it as Allah says;
اَللّٰہُ نُوْرُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضِ( سورۃالنور)
Meaning: Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. (24:35)
Infact, Prophet Mohammad is the perfect manifestation of Allah as it is a Hadith of the Prophet;
- I am from the light of Allah and whole creation is from my light.
- My light is the first manifestation of Allah.
After the Prophet Mohammad passed away, Allah has been manifesting Himself in perfect human being. Moreover, Allah will keep manifesting Himself as it is the purpose of this universe. As one is required to a medium to reach Allah, therefore Allah chosen the Universal Divine Man for manifestation of His theophanies.
How to experience Theophany
Al Ghawth al Azam Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani says:
- When a believer closes the internal eyes of the secret, only then the eyes of the soul are opened and he experiences theophanies.
Divine Beauty (Jamaal) and Majesty (Jalaal)
Sultan Bahoo says in Risala Roohi Sharif;
- Allah has manifested His beauty and Majesty of His Essence through thousands of earthen elemental bodies. Hence, they are His Perfect Manifestation. By making them pure sanctified mirrors He is observing His Own Beautiful Countenance.
الف و میم دے رنگ بتھیرے
بے رنگ دے ہر رنگ وچ ڈیرے
واہ واہ ھو ھو چار چوفیرے
وچ پردے نور محمدیؐ آیا
ربّ بندے دا چولا پایا
Explanation: Undoubtedly, the light of Allah and Prophet Mohammad has manifested itself in many perfect forms. Although light has no colour but still it is present in every colour. Indeed, the whole universe is invoking Hoo. Certainly, Mohammadan reality is present which is infact the manifestation of Allah.
Reason behind duality
Sultan Bahoo says in Risala Roohi Sharif;
- If you remove the veil from yourself then you will observe that only One Entity exists. Actually, the duality you see is because you lack insight.
منظور تھی یہ شکل تجلی کو نور کی
قسمت کھلی ترے قد و رخ سے ظہور کی
Explanation: Allah chose Prophet Mohammad for manifestation of His theophanies. It is because of Prophet Mohammad that universe came into being.
Soul is infact the light of Allah. Hence, it is a fact that Allah manifested Himself in the form of theophanies.
Reason of creation of Universe
Sultan Bahoo narrates a Qudsi Hadith;
کنت ھاھویت،کنزایاھوت،مخفیا لاھوت، فاردت ملکوت ان اعرف جبروت، فخلقت الخلق ناسوت ذاتِ سرچشمہ چشمان حقیقت ھاھویت
Meaning: I was the hidden Treasure. I intended to be recognized so I created the creature. My manifestation completed in the Universal Divine Man who is the fountain head and eye of the Reality of My Essence
Theophany and Realm of First Manifestation
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen says in Shams-ul-Fuqara;
- Actually, realm of first manifestation is where the Divine Essence revealed in the form of Mohammadan light. In fact, this light is the Treasure which desires to be manifested. Thus, the manifestation is the revelation of Essence in the core of Essence. Furthermore, the manifestation of Reality in the core of So, this is called The Mohammadan Reality. Moreover, it is the revelation of Mohammadan light from the Absolute Divine light.
- Allah manifested Himself in man or human in the form of Mohammadan light. Infact, He concealed Himself in the covers of Divine soul, kingly soul, the soul of celestial light and the bestial soul. But the man who is perfect manifestation is the Universal Divine Man. And, the Universal Divine Man means Prophet Mohammad. Infact, he is the ultimate and absolute manifestation of all the levels.
The Universal Divine Man
Shaikh al-Akbar Mohiyuddin ibn Arabi says;
- The Universal Divine Man is the comprehensiveness of lordship and slave hood. At times the theophanies of lordship reveal from him. And, at times his slave hood reflects from him. Hence, Prophet Mohammad and of his successors are like an ocean that never dries. Thus, their eternal lordship and eternal slave hood are their grandeur. (Fusus-ul-Hikam-wal-Aiqan)
- Theophany is the efficacy of Divine lights. Thus, it descend on the inwards of the loved ones of Allah. By it, they reach such a stage where they behold Allah. Theophany is denoted by Tajalli ( تجلی ) in the Holy Quran. (Shams-ul-Fuqara)
Theophanies of Ism-e-Allah Zaat
Sultan Bahoo says;
- And, the ones who are men of Allah always remain surrounded by theophanies. (Mehak-ul-Faqr Kalan)
- Infact, theophany is a light. Moreover, by the contemplation of the Ism-e-Allah Zaat thousands of theophanies reveal on the inward. Thus, it becomes more luminous and anxious. Consequently, the vision of Allah starts unveiling itself. The unveiled light of gnosis of Allah is brighter than the sun. At this station everything is visible exactly and precisely.
- Infact, the special theophany is that which manifests due to the passion of love for Allah. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
- Moreover, the distinguished theophany is that which manifests from the letters of Ism-e-Allah Zaat. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Divine love and Theophanies
In addition, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman indicates towards the same passion;
- This is the passion (Divine love) that takes the lover to the destination of vision. Except the Divine vision, all the stations and way stations are an illusion. Thus, everything other than vision of Allah all is carcass. Therefore, the lover is always a seeker of the vision. Hence, it is the destination of life. Moreover, it keeps him restless, anxious, and eager every moment. (Shams-ul-Fuqara)
Prophet Moses and Mohammadan Umma
Prophet Moses could not withstand the theophany of Allah. But the Fakirs of Mohammadan umma have blessings of thousands of such theophanies. Sultan Bahoo says;
- Prophet Moses also experienced theophany of Self disclosure. Though he could not bear it. But the situation of the Fakirs of the umma of Prophet Mohammad is different. Infact, thousands of such theophanies reveal upon their inwards daily. But they do not get perplexed.
- With the single theophany Prophet Moses got perplexed. Even, with the same theophany the Mount Sinai crushed into pieces. But the same theophanies of passion of the Essence unveils upon them seventy thousand times every moment. Yet they do not object. Rather they say, “Is there any more!”.
آن نورِ تجلی بموسیٰ کوہِ طور
عین عیاں است مرا حق ظہور
Explanation: The theophany of Divine light which Prophet Moses beheld on the Mount Tur, manifests in my own existence by the grace of Allah.
Different Types of Theophanies
Sultan Bahoo has narrated fourteen type of theophanies. He says;
- Infact, there are fourteen kinds of theophanies which radiate at fourteen stations. Moreover, you must know that every theophany has its own peculiar sign. Thus, one can recognize the type by its effects on the existence of the seeker. Moreover, bearing the effects of theophanies is the most difficult of all the stages of spiritual journey. Thousands of Mystics having Divine union, researchers, unitarians, reciters and seekers drowned in the vortex of the ocean of theophanies. Resultantly, they became depraved and never reached the destination Some of them became apostate and some were the victims of fame. Moreover, some of them turned polytheist and some fell into the deception of heresy. So, gradually damned to hell.
First is the theophany of sharia which appears on the forehead. Moreover, it enlightens the physical eye. So, the seeker observes the reality of things.
In addition, second is the theophany of mysticism (tariqa) from which the Divine light radiates. Thus, it sanctifies the inward.
Next, is the theophany of Reality (haqiqa) from which radiates the Divine light. Thus, it enlightens the soul.
Moreover, fourth is the theophany of gnosis (marifa) whose light reaches the secret (sir’r). Hence, it reveals the Divine secret.
Next is the theophany of Divine love from which the light of secrets of Allah radiates.
Sixth is the theophany of spiritual guide. Infact, it creates the light of love and sincerity.
Next is the theophany of Faqr. Thence, its light discards everything other than Allah from the inward of seeker.
Moreover, eighth is the theophany of angels. Infact, radiates the of glorification of Allah.
Next is the theophany of jinn which creates insanity and madness.
Moreover, tenth is the theophany of inciting innerself. Consequently, it creates lustful desires.
Moreover, eleventh is the theophany of Satan. Hence, it inclines the person towards sin and disobedience.
Next is the theophany of sun. Thus, it produces the lightning.
Thirteenth is the theophany of moon which produces the light of reflection.
Lastly, fourteenth is the theophany of medium of the Divine names. Therefore, it is. Ism-e-Allah Zaat (اَللّٰہ), Ism-e-Lillah (لِلّٰہ), Ism-e-LaHoo (لَہُ), Ism-e-Hoo (ھُوْ). Moreover, it includes the ninety nine beautiful names of Allah, Ism-e-Faqr (فقر ) and Ism-e-Mohammad (محمَّد). In addition, from every letter of name, light like flame of a candle rises which enlightens the seeker. However, the seeker must not stay at any level of the theophany. Thus, he should move forward and not feel proud on attaining any level. The Holy Prophet said:
- اَلسَّکُوْنُ حَرَامٌ عَلٰی قُلُوْبِ الْاَوْلِیَآءِ
Meaning: Peace is forbidden upon the inwards of the Saints. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Two Types of Theophanies
In Majalisa-tul-Nabi Sultan Bahoo states about two kinds of theophanies: 1. Theophany of Divine light, 2. Fiery theophany. He says:
One kind of theophany is Divine light. Infact, it originates from the light of Divinity, Prophet of Allah, inward, the soul and the secret, angels and men of Islam. When all these lights physically and spiritually accumulate in the existence, the following felicities are achieved;
- Renunciation and trust
- Patience and gratitude
- Inward fondness and contentment
- Divine favour of obedience
- Invocation and reflection
- Annihilation and immortality
- The engrossment of gnosis of Allah
- The exoteric knowledge of sharia and the esoteric path that has no end.
Second kind of theophany is fiery. Infact, it is the fire of the innerself (nafs). Thus, it means anger, rage, hostility and spite. Infact, it is the devilish fire which begets avarice, greed, love for worldliness and sin. Moreover, it is the fire which creates the desires of inclination of creation, promotion in the worldly grades. Moreover, it creates the desire to subjugate of people and annihilation in jinn and devils of the unseen world. So much so, he becomes edict of wine, involves himself in forbidden deeds, heresy. Resultantly, he renounces salat and turns reprobate by leaving hajj and zakat. Moreover, he develops sympathy with the infidels and Jews.
When all these types of fire enter the being, the inward becomes dark. Thus, the attributes of Pharaoh appear in the person. Resultantly, there remains no discrimination between good and evil. Therefore, these stations are fiery and deceptive. Here whatever you see, do not trust it. Infact, all this is reprobation and against the sharia, curse on it. (Majalisa-tul-Nabi)
- You must have knowledge that there are two kinds of exoteric theophanies. Infact, these are the satanic theophanies and the theophanies of inciting innerself. Moreover, the shine of gold and silver is the satanic theophany. Whereas the lust for women is the theophany of inciting innerself. The Holy Prophet said:
- اَلنِّسَآءُ شَیَاطِیْنٌ خُلِقْنَ لَنَا نَعُوْذ بِاللّٰہِ مِنْھَا وَمِنْ شَرِّ الشَّیَاطِیْنِ
Meaning: Women are as devils for us. Hence, I seek refuge of Allah from them and from the evil of devils. (Ain-ul-Faqr)
Tajalli is an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the June 2019 issue. Originally penned by Raffia Gulzar Sarwari Qadri and translated in English by Mohammad Abdullah Sarwari Qadri exclusively for the website. If you wish to read the article in Urdu, click the following link:
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